Leopard Trek confirms collaboration with RadioShack and Nissan
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Leopard Trek confirms collaboration with RadioShack and Nissan

by Shane Stokes at 2:54 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Horner, Klöden and Brajkovic amongst those moving to Luxembourg squad

Leopard TrekAppearing to contradict l’Equipe’s contention that the Leopard Trek team will cease to exist, the squad has announced this evening that a collaboration of sponsors will take place, but says that the team will continue to be based around its current structure rather than that of the American RadioShack squad.

“Leopard announces that RadioShack and Nissan are joining the Leopard-Trek World Tour Team as sponsors for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Leopard will continue to hold its existing UCI World Tour License. The team will be rebranded as RadioShack-Nissan- Trek Professional Cycling Team as of next year,” it said in a statement. “The team will continue to call Luxembourg its home.”

It confirms that Tour de France podium finishers Andy Schleck plus his brother Frank will remain on board, as will world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara. There will be additions from the current RadioShack team, making it what is essentially a merger. “They will be joined by Tour of California Champion Chris Horner, two-time Tour de France runner-up Andreas Klöden, and National Champions Matthew Busche, Jani Brajkovic, Nelson Oliveira and Robert Wagner.”

Given that all bar one of the current Leopard Trek riders had a contact extending into next season, it appears clear that there will be some riders who are laid off. There is notably no mention of Jakob Fuglsang, who earlier expressed his concerns about the dealings, although he may yet be on the final roster. The team added that the final line-up will be announced in due time.

According to team owner Flavio Becca, the addition of the RadioShack and Nissan sponsorships mean that the team will be in a stronger position. “As we stated in January, 2011 would be our apprentice-year. We intend to improve upon our results. In modern cycling you cannot move forward without strong sponsors. It is in this respect that today is a further milestone in the development of this exciting young project, which has gained the trust of two well-established players in the world of professional cycling.

“I continue to believe in the bright future of our athletes and have high expectations for the performance of this team. This is a major strategic move for all partners involved.”

Current RadioShack general manager Johan Bruyneel is not mentioned in the release, although it has long been speculated that he will be part of the new setup. He is currently one of those under investigation in relation to the US Postal Service enquiry.

The statement also does not mention the current general manger of Leopard Trek, Brian Nygaard, and so it is uncertain if he will continue in his current position. L’Equipe said today that he would take up a press officer role with the GreenEdge team, but this has not been confirmed.


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